Govt certain of parliament majority

Kathmandu, Jan 9: It seems all speculations about fate of the two-week old government led by Maoist Chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) are over now.

With the Nepali Congress, the largest party in parliament, giving up, around 167 members from six different parties pledged their support to the Prachanda led government at the formation on December 26.

The House of Representatives will settle the vote of confidence that PM Prachanda will place before it Tuesday as part of the condition of his appointment under article 76(2) of the constitution.

While Deuba’s hope to retain the PM’s chair crashed soon after Prachanda eloped with K P Oli forming a new alliance with other parties like Rastriya Swatantra Party, Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Nagarik Unmukti Party and Janamt Party as constituents, he gave up his initial efforts to wreck and build his own case.

Prachanda, under active guidance from Oli, agreed to have Poush 27 (Jan 11), birth anniversary of late Prithvi Narayan Shah, architect and leader of national unification, as a public holiday and took oath of office in ‘national dress’- Daura, Suruwal—as demanded by the RPP. He also publicly stated that making compromises with the parties that have gained public mandate of various sizes is his compulsion.

His conciliatory gesture also put a big blockade in any residual ambition of Deuba and his faction in the Nepali congress. In fact, Deuba made an attempt to lure away RPP with 14 members offering the PM’s chair— but that did not work.

Despite a denial by NC general secretary Gagan Thapa that such an offer was ever made by Deuba, Deshsanchar has learnt that it was actually made but Lingden said it was too late as it already felt committed to back the Prachanda led government in parliament.

Speaking in the parliament Monday Oli said he was confident about the Prachanda led government securing vote of confidence. Whereas the leader of opposition, Sher Bahadur Deuba, was far less aggressive and promised constructive cooperation to the government. He further said “as the largest party in the parliament, NC would do everything to protect the constitution.”

There are indications that the 8-member council of ministers may be expanded soon. After securing vote of confidence in which RSP, with its leader Rabi Lamichhane already acting as Deputy PM in charge of home ministry, and the RPP are likely to get three each berths (excluding Rabi) and Nagarik Unmukti and Janamat party at one each.

Remaining 9 seats will be divided between the Maoists and the UML.